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tv   Disabled Veterans Memorial Dedication  CSPAN  December 25, 2014 9:56pm-10:09pm EST

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for young adults in the united states. means if ave care man with mental illness gets , his doctorsancer work together to determine what the best approach for his mind and body is. covered hands of care also means that when a woman leaves a psychiatric hospital, there is a process to make sure she gets the care she needs it so she does not end up back in jail, hospitals or on the streets or even dead. [applause] at the heart of it, comprehensive care means our mental health system reaches people early and far more often so fewer people fall through the cracks and suffer loss. i am so proud to be with you here today. together as mental health advocates, we can make our voices heard. our shared message is simple.
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like you said, keep it simple. support passage of a comprehensive mental health bill this year. [applause] go out there and make today count. today, we will make a difference as we act for mental health. et.'t forget to twea and post throughout the day. i'm about to now. i am so proud of this community today and i want the entire world to know that i am proud of everyone in here and proud of myself for getting the help i need and you can have that, too. [applause]
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spoke onent niece disabled american veterans memorial. it is 15 minutes. >> it is my pleasure to introduce someone who has been an incredible champion not only for this memorial, but for veterans and active-duty u.s. military personnel and families. what began decades ago as a personal commitment to our nation's heroes back on in his native chicago quickly evolved with thendshake tours uso and iraq, around the world.
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e formed the lieutenant dan troops atorming for home and abroad. he established a foundation to honor troops, veterans, first responders, and their families. for his tireless work and honoredon, he has been with the second highest civilian honor awarded by the president of the united states. please join me in a rousing garyme to the stage, sinese. [applause] moral. -- memorial. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for that wonderful introduction. thank you so much. welcome commandment. -- welcome, everyone.
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a special thank you to our past and present military here today. it is an honor to be in your presence. there is my right. -- my ride. i want to think the board of directors who after a 16 year effort brought this memorial to reality. to theficent tribute most honored guests of all here today, our injured veterans. [applause] also, a special acknowledgment to the late jesse brown. i know he is smiling today. in his farewell address to the nation in 1988, ronald reagan said that all great change in america begins at the dinner table. it is clear what president reagan meant.
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in these gatherings with family , one can have the meaningful conversations that stir our convictions, inspire us to action and bring us to an understanding of what life is really all about. early late 1970's and 1980's, i sat at the turntable with a vietnam veteran from my wife's side of the family and i began to receive an education. what they experienced during the wars, how bravely they fought and how they felt of the shameful way they were treated when they return home. imagine it being a risk to wear the uniform in public as was the case for many returning from vietnam. i'm sure some here today remember that all too well. , a combat-in-law medic, passed away this past
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wednesday of cancer at age 68. today, he would have been 69 years old. he was like a brother to me and told me how he went into a stall in the airport bathroom to remove his uniform and change into his civilian clothes to at orrom being stared shouted at or possibly spit at. i will miss jack dearly and learn much from him, listening storiestories and the of the vietnam veterans in my family was an affinity for me. -- epiphany for me. the price paid to secure freedom -- i felt a strong sense of guilt for being so oblivious as a young teenager to what our vietnam veterans, many just slightly older than i were going
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through. it was out of that guilt and shame that a new mission began. need to take action to do something to try to make a difference in the lives of those who serve. in 1993 as i continued my journey in television and theater and film, good things came my way and i was fortunate to have the opportunity to play a wounded vietnam veteran, lieutenant dan taylor. that role -- [applause] that role led me to what is now a 20 year association with the disabled american veterans organization. for the past eight years, the great privilege of acting as national spokesperson for the american veterans disabled for life memorial foundation. this extraordinary tribute to our wounded that we dedicate today. it was president abraham lincoln
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who sat any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure. with the opening of this national monument, we honor millions of our heroes living with the wounds of war with a place of healing, remembrance and gratitude for all they have given. we help ensure, uret our nation will end for generations to come. for if we do not remember our , how can, our heroes we expect future generations to step up to serve? [applause] certainly what happens post-vietnam weakened our nation. it was a shameful time in our
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history and we must never ever let that happen again. [applause] remembering and honoring our veterans is paramount to our national security. this places a critical importance on always taking care of our military servicemembers and their families before, during and after the battle. the dangers of the 21st century are clear. with no doubt that this century will be equally if not more dangerous than the previous one. the united states must maintain a strong defense, impossible to do without strong defenders. for all they have done, for all they have sacrificed, they asked so little in return. , thatg they are honored they will get the care they need when they need it, that they are not forgotten and that their sacrifice is appreciated can
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make a world of difference. , little did we know that the coming years would bring us thousands of gold star families and an entire new generation of real-life .ieutenant dan's we have upwards of 4 million living with injuries, wounded in america's wars, supported and looked after by our unsung heroes, america's caregivers. we cannot get those wounded veterans back their arms and legs. we cannot get them back their eyes, their ears, the pieces of themselves that have been lost or the minds that have been altered. we can give them and we must give them i respect, our everlasting thanks and our support. [applause]
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one of our great military leaders retired admiral william aven give the commencement speech at the university of texas. their motto is what starts here changes the world. he gave lessons from what he learned in his seal training that the students could implement to change and influence the world as they graduated and went forth into society. one of those lessons was about under a ship at night and find the keyhole, the centerline in the deepest part of the ship. this is the darkest part of the ship. you cannot see your hand in front of your face, the noise from the ships machinery is deafening and it is easy for a well-trained navy seal to get disoriented and fail.
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every seal knows that under the keyhole at the darkest moment of the mission, it is the time when you must be the most calm and composed. when all your technical skills, your physical power and your inner strength must be brought to bear. if you want to change the world, you must be you are very best in the darkest moment. we can never do enough for our nation's freedom providers, our heroes, but we can always show them we appreciate what they have wrought and sacrificed for -- font and sacrificed for. fought and sacrificed for. it every citizen in every neighborhood
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